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  • stevecowles

I come to steal your Queen

Before starting work today, I thought it would be good to do something I've intended to do for the last couple of weeks: create a queen ant capture kit. I hope to be fortunate enough to collect about half a dozen queens at some point this summer, I'm not too bothered what species they are as long as I manage to get some.

Most years we complain about flying ants, usually once a year on a warm summer's evening, generally when it has rained earlier in the day. This is the 'nuptial flight' for ants when they leave their next to fly away, mate, and start a new colony and my cunning plan is to interrupt the process by stealing a few mated queens for my evil experiments.

Since I'm only likely to get one chance, history suggests this is most likely to be at some point during July, but it has been getting a few days earlier in recent years.

Preparation is all and I now have this small box at the foot of my stairs to grab in a rush the first time I spot someone complaining about flying ants on Facebook. I will be heading off to the cycle path as ants are often seen on the footpath there.

What is in my kit? I've selected some unused takeaway sauce pots, a lightweight carrier bag, a sheet of 'blue roll', a couple of cotton buds and a cotton ball. Will this do the job? I hope to get the opportunity to find out so watch this space. If I am successful I have more suitable storage (test tubes) ready at home.

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